Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

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The New Press, 2008 - History - 444 pages
74 Reviews
Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that "not one" does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:

The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth
Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations
The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts

From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.
 

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User Review  - AprilBrown - LibraryThing

What ages would I recommend it too? – Twelve and up. Length? – Several evening's read. Characters? – Multiple characters. Setting? – Historical, global. Written approximately? – 1995. Does the story ... Read full review

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User Review  - stevesmits - LibraryThing

I have long been fascinated with historiography -- the biases in versions of history that appear over time. The notion that history is a factual recitation of objective truths about the past is just ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
1
11
2
31
3
70
4
93
5
135
6
172
7
204
10
259
11
280
12
301
13
340
Afterword
355
Notes
363
Appendix
435
Index
437

8
219
9
244

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About the author (2008)

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies Across America and Sundown Towns (The New Press), among many other books and articles. He is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and lives in Washington, D.C.

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